The Negro Ensemble Company (1967- )

The Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) was founded in New York City, New York during the summer of 1967, under the direction of actor Robert Hooks, actor, playwright, director Douglas Turner Ward, and producer, director Gerald Krone. From its beginning, NEC was criticized for its integrated … Read MoreThe Negro Ensemble Company (1967- )

Federal Theatre Project (Negro Units)

In 1935, in the middle of the Great Depression President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Administration created the Works Progress Administration Federal Theatre Project (FTP) as part of the New Deal economic recovery program. Negro units, also called The Negro Theatre Project (NTP), were set up in … Read MoreFederal Theatre Project (Negro Units)

American Negro Theatre (1940-ca. 1955)

Harlem Federal Theatre Project Production of MacBeth (FTP was the Predecessor to the American Negro Theater) Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress Formed by Abram Hill, Frederick O’Neal, and other actors in Harlem, New York in 1940, the American Negro Theatre (ANT) was an … Read MoreAmerican Negro Theatre (1940-ca. 1955)

Katherine Dunham (1909-2006)

Katherine Dunham was born on June 22, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois to parents Albert and Fanny Dunham.  She was of mixed heritage with African, Madagascan, Canadian-French and American Indian ancestry.  Dunham was raised in Joliet, Illinois and didn’t begin formal dance training until her late … Read MoreKatherine Dunham (1909-2006)

African Company / African Grove Theatre

The African Company was the first known black theatre troupe. In 1816, William Henry Brown (1815-1884), a retired West Indian steamship steward, acquired a house on Thomas Street in lower Manhattan, New York. He offered a variety of instrumental and vocal entertainments on Sunday afternoons … Read MoreAfrican Company / African Grove Theatre